Girl From Fatehpur : Novella Review

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Girl From Fatehpur penned by Sarita Varma and published by Indireads is a short and sweet novella which falls under the genres of chick-lit and rom-com.

Sana is from small-town Fatehpur, currently residing at Mumbai. She works at a company and Krish is her colleague who is not only besotted with her but also has just proposed her. Although he’s complete marriage material and she has no particular reason to reject his proposal, she’s wary of accepting it. Unable to decide what to do, she shares her dilemma with Zoya, her flatmate. Zoya gives her the perfect idea of thinking it over a few days of break from Krish and Mumbai.

Her cousin, Renee, is getting married in Fatehpur and that becomes the perfect excuse for Sana to take a holiday. Although she has a large family waiting for her at Fatehpur, she has never been to the village ever since her parents passed away. She’s everyone’s darling and everybody’s more than happy to see her and shower her with immense love.

She also bumps into Rajan, her childhood crush, who had no interest in her when they were kids. Rajan now lives in Seattle and is wary of the institution of marriage because of his own parents’ marriage ending on a sad note. He is that ultra-modern guy who prefers to be in a relationship without having to be arrested by customs and traditions.

They keep bumping into each-other for marriage preparations and become really close that she again fancies him. This time, Rajan is also enchanted by her and really enjoys her company. Just when things seem to be headed at a concrete level, Krish jumps into the picture. He happens to be one of the cousins of the groom and he sticks to her like glue. She’s exasperated, terrified and frustrated.

Thus forms the love triangle between Rajan, Sana and Krish and both men vying to woo her and outdo each other.

Is Sana in love with Rajan or is it just infatuation? Is Rajan also in love with Sana or is it just her disillusion? Who does she finally agree to marry, Rajan or Krish? Read Girl From Fatehpur to know.

Although she’s a freelance writer and has contributed short stories for the Chicken Soup series and has written numerous articles for magazines and web sites on history, travel, health and a host of diverse topics, Girl From Fatehpur is author Sarita Varma’s debut work under fiction.

Her writing is simple, smooth-flowing and conversant. The conversations between Sana and Zoya or her cousin Devika are hilarious, whereas those between her and Rajan are sweet and romantic. The novella showcases the hustle and bustle and the chaos that follows in the house of wedding. It also showcases the transformation of a small-town girl into a fierce and mature professional. It is an ordinary story (in a good way) and so one can relate to it and it could be anybody’s story. What makes it extra-ordinary is the author’s capacity to emote to the readers through the characters. The author has very nicely described the confusion in Sana’s heart and her varied feelings at the various developments around her.

It is a sweet read. The happy ending will leave you brimming with a smile.

Connect with the author here : Sarita Varma 

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Posted in books, fiction, Girl From Fatehpur, Indireads, novella, reviews, Sarita Varma | Leave a comment

Haveli : Novella Review

Haveli is a romance novella set in Pakistan in 1971 where Chandni, who detests that name and stresses on being called as C, is a descendant of a rich heirloom. As her mother passed away soon after giving birth and her father abandoned her even before, she was raised by her grandmother, Bi-Amma, whom she preferred to refer as The Broad because of her strictness. C has tons of attitude, but is sharp, intelligent, sarcastic, well-read, happy-go-lucky, energetic and an eclectic woman, who loves to keep giving pet-names to people around her based on literary characters.

source: goodreads.com

source: goodreads.com

She is home-schooled and so she has very few friends. Her true friends are Baba, a family friend and Zafar, her half-brother whom she really likes. She has always longed for her father, whom she calls Nameless, to return and beg for forgiveness.

As a kid, she had a huge crush on Kunwar Rohail Khanzada who’s already married and has a daughter. Now, a young and beautiful C, wants to enthrall him and tries everything in her capacity to lure him, including dressing provocatively for him. Unfortunately, Kunwar neither has any idea about this nor has any interest in her.

But what she’s more frustrated with is that Taimur, who is Baba’s son and is christened as Alpha-Male by C, can see through all her ploys and makes fun of her for being so naive. Nobody has ever made fun of her and nobody has ever make her look foolish. So, she instantly hates Taimur whom she keeps rechristening every now and then, from Heathcliff to Moriarty to Mr.Darcy.

She doesn’t hate him for nothing. Taimur is equally intelligent, very handsome, although not well-read, he can not only understand C’s sarcasm, but also reply her in same vein and more often than not, get a strong hold over her. Taimur calls her Medusa in return to the names that she has given him. Their sparkling chemistry, razor-sharp tongues’ induced verbal duels forms the highlight of the novella as they are really hilarious and make you smile.

While Bi-Amma wants C married to Taimur, she hates him even more. Never has she disobeyed The Broad, but this one time she does and immediately declines to get married to Taimur.

Her father makes a sudden entry into her life and he hasn’t come alone. He has come with a suitor. Now she’s struck between her grandmother and her father and between two guys who are vying for her love.

Why has her father suddenly appeared again? Has he any dubious intentions or is it just the fatherly love that has brought him back? Who’s the better suitor for C among the two guys? Who does C select among the two? Read Haveli to find out.

Haveli is Zeenat Mahal’s first novella but she writes like a veteran. She has a strong hold on literature and has nicely sufficed so many sub-stories within a short novella. All the characters are well-etched and the woman characters are strong and fierce. Especially Bi-Amma and C. The immaturity of C, her longing for her father, her strong attachment to her father and her immense desire to please her father once he resurfaces are nicely portrayed. Baba is another wonderful character in the novella. He loves C from all his heart and doesn’t hate her even when she rejects his son, Taimur, but supports her. While the whole novella is fast-paced and well-balanced, it has an abrupt climax which leaves the reader desiring for more.

Romance, humor, emotions and battle-of-wits. A perfect read.

She has already published her second novella, The Contract.
Connect with the author here : Zeenat Mahal

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Posted in books, fiction, Haveli, Indireads, novella, reviews, Zeenat Mahal | Leave a comment

A Scandalous Proposition : Novella Review

A Scandalous Proposition

A Scandalous Proposition is penned by Mimmy Jain under the pen name of M.M.George and distinctly falls in the category of Indian Mills & Boons. Yes, it has got the template, a rich obnoxious guy, a middle-class girl, sparks fly when they meet, lust overpowers love in the beginning where love wins over everything in the end.

Mira Talwar has just moved to Delhi with her sister and an ailing mother after the death of her father. She’s already late for her interview and when she thinks nothing could go wrong, she ends up in wrong floor of the building. She ends up in Ranbir Dewan’s office and immediately sparks begin to fly between the two. Unfortunately for her, he’s the kind of guy who believes in bedding the girl and moving on. In less than a week, he asks her to be his mistress for 6 months. Yeah, he was obnoxious, arrogant and a rich asshole, but instead of slapping him, she refuses and gets out. Not before getting kissed and baring her bosom for him. Yes, she couldn’t stop him (and herself) when he made his move.

Next day, he calls her and says that his cousin, Tarun, is in love with her sister, Reema, but his aunt would certainly be against this alliance and that they will have to hatch a plan to include Reema in the family and for that he says that Reema should join his ailing grand-mother as her 24/7 companion. While Mira was still contemplating, Ranbir insisted that both Mira and Reema stayed at their home and that is what makes Mira suspicious about Ranbir’s intentions.

Was Ranbir genuinely concerned about his cousin? Or was he pushing for his own carnal desires to be fulfilled? Was he really that arrogant, rich, obnoxious womaniser that he appeared to be or was there more to him? What happens of Tarun-Reema and more importantly, of Ranbir-Mira? Read the novella to find out.

The writing is excellent and enjoyable. The setting is wonderful, rich guy who appears to be obnoxious womaniser, a middle-class girl who’s headstrong and traditional yet modern. It’s a racy-plot with lots of nitpicking and loads of fireworks, both verbal and romantic, between Ranbir and Mira. The relation between Ranbir and his family members is nicely depicted where slowly Mira learns about Ranbir who’s not obnoxious asshole. The conversations and battle-of-wits of Ranbir and Mira are filled with loads of hilarity and fun. The best part of the novella is the sizzling chemistry between Ranbir and Mira. The attraction that they feel for each-other is just too strong but not so strong that Mira would forget her traditional values (and society) and give in to his scandalous proposition even though she’s very much tempted to accept it. And almost does. Twice.

A spicy read. Perfect (spicy) mix of romance, humor, relationships and love. Romance fanatics and chick-lit lovers would totally love reading it.

Connect with the author here : M.M George

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Posted in A Scandalous Proposition, books, fiction, Indireads, M.M. George, Mimmy Jain, novella, reviews | Leave a comment

The Perfect Groom : Novella Review

The Perfect Groom is a short and simple story set in a Tamil household and the situations described in it are daily happenings in most of the middle-class households in most parts of India. It’s the story of the various struggles of women in various roles, that of a wife, a daughter, a sister, a childhood friend etc., and their sacrifices just to keep their family happy and appease the ‘charitable’ relatives.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Nithya, her mother and her small sister live with her uncle and aunt since her father passed away leaving behind nothing for them. Her uncle and aunt were cunning, selfish and cruel to the three but always maintained that they were a family in front of the society and world. The uncle and aunt never did anything for them without desiring a return favor/gift and always ruled over their lives and never allowing them to grow and be independent.

One fine day, they bring a  NRI proposal for Nithya and her mother is over the moon with happiness that finally her brother and sister-in-law have had a change of heart. Although Nithya refuses to get married so soon, her mother forces her to get married lest she upset the ‘kind’ uncle and aunt. Of course, there is a catch. What is it? Why are they suddenly so ‘kind’ towards her? Read the novella to find out.

Sumeetha Manikandan has a knack of observation and she has so easily incorporated situations and conversations from real life into the novella that it gnaws at your heart and instantly makes you feel for Nithya. The character of Nithya is a strong one who is optimistic, looking forward to a bright future even when her present is nothing short of hell, she adjusts to her surroundings without complaining and is willing to undergo the torture for a few more years just so that her sister doesn’t face any problems in getting a match. A divorcee in the family is not only a bad name, but it also becomes difficult for the siblings to get matches even today in most parts of India.

Sometimes you hate Nithya and some other characters like her mother and sister for being quiet for so long and being martyrs instead of fighting back. But then, given the story, you do understand that they had no other option but bear everything that their uncle and aunt made them to bear.

Her childhood friend Vasu who happens to meet her accidentally in US and then their encounters that follow are the only parts that are really feel good and make you smile. But once their relationship goes to the next level, he acts like a big a**hole which seemed unreal and so uncharacteristic of him.

Nithya’s uncle-aunt and her MIL-DIL are the real antagonists of the novella and they try everything that they can to make her life difficult but she bears everything silently.
Nithya’s husband is another abusive rascal who abuses her and his own parents for no reason.
The only good person in her life in US is a restaurant owner who becomes her employer and also a good friend.

The Perfect Groom is a read that will leave you sad for most part but make you feel good with the perfect happy ending.

Connect with the author here : Sumeetha Manikandan

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Posted in books, fiction, Indireads, novella, reviews, Sumeetha Manikandan, The Perfect Groom | 2 Comments

The Tornado Giveaway!



Welcome to The Book Club’s very first Giveaway

Tornado Giveaway

We’re extremely excited about it. You will be toowhen you hear the details. Get ready to be blown away by Tornado Giveaway! 

A tornado of books is coming your way. We love our Authors. They give us hours of entertainment; they fill our lives with love and passion. Today, we want to do exactly that. Fill your life with love. This is a Romance Giveaway with a smattering of crime thrillers and a heartwarming family saga – to spice up your life.

Starting on the 1st of July we will introduce each of the twenty-three participating Authors on our Book Club page. Some you already know; some are new.  But all promise to keep you entertained with their words.

Believe it or not, we have 200 books to give away.  Didn’t we say, a Tornado is coming your way!  And there will be not one… not two … but 17 Winners who will get 17 books each and 6 Mega winners will get a chance to grab 22 books each.

How do you participate in this Giveaway? It’s simple… just follow the Rafflecopter(scroll down) and win all the books. 

So what are you waiting for?  Join us here as we introduce each author daily and get a sneak peek into their writing. Get ready to be swept away! 

The Rules….

Love Books of course :)

In the Rafflecopter follow the rules….

1. Like the Author Facebook Page – Mandatory - 1 point
2. Follow the author on Twitter -Mandatory- 2 points
3. Tweet on the dates mentioned in the Rafflecopter about the Author – Optional - 3 points
4. Like the Harlequin India Facebook Page – Mandatory - 5 points
5. Like the Indireads Facebook Page -Mandatory - 5 points 
6. Like The Book Club Facebook Page -Mandatory –  5 points

23AUTHORS; 23 NOVELS; 17 WINNERS6 MEGA WINNERS 




Participating Authors

Name of the Book Name of the Author Date of Post
Scarlet Revenge Ann McGinnis 1st July
Saving Justice Tasman Gibb 2nd July
The Perfect Groom Sumeetha Manikandan 3rd July
Wilde Riders Savannah Young 4th July
Scorched by His Fire Reet Singh 5th July
When I see your Face Devika Fernando 6th July
The Malhotra Bride Sundari Venkatraman 7th July
Butterfly Season Natasha Ahmed 8th July
The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal Adite Banerjie 9th July
Bootie and the Beast Falguni Kothari 10th July
Full Circle Yamini Vijendran 11th July
Bollywood Fiance For a Day Ruchi Vasudeva 12th July
The Truth About De Campo Jennifer Hayward 13th July
Twelve Hours of Temptation Shoma Narayanan 14th July
Monsoon Memories Renita D’Silva 15th July
His Captive Indian Princess Tanu Jain 16th July
The Return of the Rebel Jennifer Faye 17th July
Rapid Fall Adiana Ray 18th July
Kingdom Come Aarti V Raman 19th July
Crossing the line Nicola Marsh 20th July
India was one An Indian 21st July
Lily’s Leap Téa Cooper 22nd July
Love’s Labour Andy Paula 23rd July



All the Best Dear Readers…

a Rafflecopter giveaway





RESULTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON 30TH JULY



Participating Blogs



Bloggers/Writers Blogging @
Aarti V Raman Rt_Writes
Adiana Ray Rayyyydays
Adite Banerjie AditeBanerjie
An Indian India Was One
Ann McGinnis Ann McGinnis
Arti Metroreader Arti Metroreader
Bhavya NK Ishithaa
Devika Fernando Devika Fernando
Dola Basu Singh Shiuli
Falguni Kothari Falguni Kothari
Inderpreet Kaur Uppal Eloquent Articulation
Janaki Nagaraj Memoirs of A Homemaker
Jennifer Faye Jennifer Faye
Jennifer Hayward Jennifer Hayward
Jigar Doshi Jigar Doshi
Parichita Singh Parichita
Natasha Ahmed Dear Rumi
Nicola Marsh Nicola Marsh
Nikita Soni Njkinny’s World of Books & Stuff
Pooja Abhay Thoughtless Ramifications
Reet Singh Reet Singh
Renita D’Silva Renita D’Silva
Rubina Ramesh The Book Club
Ruchi Vasudeva Ruchi Vasudeva
Savannah Young Savannah Young
Shoma Narayanan Shoma Narayanan
Sonia Rao soniaraowrites
Sumeetha Manikandan Books Reviews by Sumi
Sundari Venkatraman Flaming Sun
Tanu Jain tanurja’s Blog
Tasman Gibb Tasman Gibb
Téa Cooper Tea Cooper
Usha Narayanan Usha Narayanan
Yamini Vijendran Straight from the heart
Andy Paula Andy Paula




This Giveaway is hosted by The Book Club. A group of Writers and Bloggers who have come together to spread the works of different authors from around the globe. 


Logo design by Natasha Ahmed

A special thanks  to Adite Banerjie, Sundari Venkatraman and Dola Basu Singh. Without you this Giveaway was not possible. 


Posted in Giveaway, novellas, romance, The Book Club | 3 Comments

The Contract : Novella Review

The Contract is a novella penned by a Pakistani author, Zeenat Mahal. I have read many authors outside of India, but seldom something interesting had come my way across the border except ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ a long time ago. And I didn’t know this was penned by a Pakistani author until Lahore was mentioned in the novella and I was genuinely surprised. Yes, I had started reading the novella without going through the author bio.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Natasha lives with her grand-mother, Aunt Salma, as her mother Rutaba has passed away and her father Hussain is busy conquering corporate battles in a distant foreign land. Shahira is a divorcee, has a 7 years old son and is a teacher to Natasha. Aunt Salma plays cupid and wants Shahira and Hussain to get married. Both have had bad marriages and weren’t ready to get into a relationship but both understand the situation and enter into a contract that is mutually benefiting.

More than marriage, it is an employment for her where she gets paid to take care of the daughter and ailing mother and he never comes to visit them. She finds it outrageous and ridiculous when he first makes the offer, but later acquiesces. So, they get married over telephone and things are going smooth until Aunt Salma forces Hussain to visit home once and when he does, he no longer wishes to abide by the contract.

Rest of the novella is all about their battle of wits, how they go from being hostile towards each-other to finally becoming friends and ultimately falling in love.

The writing is wonderful. All the characters are strong and instantly lovable. You begin to identify with both the protagonists and their aversion to new relationships because of their tragic past. The relationships between Shahira and Aunt Salma is nothing like a normal MIL-DIL, but is all lovey-dovey. Shahira is intelligent, adorable, sweet, understanding, caring yet vulnerable, scared and immensely lovable. Hussain is charming, witty, slightly arrogant but is caring and understanding. Their chemistry is perfect.

The best part of the novella was the battle of wits and that fight to put each other in their place even before they actually met. Once they meet, the fight only gets even more funnier, wittier, hilarious and the replies, especially Shahira’s, even more scathingly sharper. Ultimately, their brickbats turn to normal talks and finally into love. It is a feel-good novella and you’ll find smiling more-so-often and it’ll leave you yearning for more.

A must-read for all romance fanatics.

Connect with the author here : Zeenat Mahal

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Posted in books, fiction, Indireads, novella, reviews, The Contract, Zeenat Mahal | Leave a comment
humshakals

source : santabanta.com

First of all, let me clarify, I am no Sajid Khan fan. And I am not writing this review of Humshakals to defend him or the movie or anything, I am writing the review just because I enjoyed it and I felt, I need to write about it, more so because everybody was thrashing the movie left and right without even watching it. Just because it was a Sajid Khan movie, a man whom everybody loves to hate.

Ashok (Saif Ali Khan) is the billionaire heir of the Singhania empire that K.A.N.S Mamaji (Ram Kapoor) wants to steal. Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh) is Ashok’s best-friend and always supports him. Mamaji hatches a plan that sends the duo to a mental asylum that already has an another set of duo, two lookalikes or Humshakals of Ashok and Kumar with the same names. The rest of the story is not hard to guess. The lookalikes get out and the real ones are trapped inside the asylum. Rest of the story is about how the real ones get out and all the confusion that unfolds, before stopping Mamaji in his evil plans.

Among the female leads, the movie features the Tamannaah Bhatia as Shanaya, a reality show host and Ashok’s love interest., Bipasha Basu as Mishti, estate manager of Ashok and Kumar’s love interest., and Esha Gupta as Dr. Shivani Gupta, a doctor at the mental asylum. The girls don’t have much to do except look glamorous, sing and dance.

There are 3 pairs of Ashok, Kumar and Mamaji and one of the pairs is of drag where Saif romances Riteish, Riteish romances Saif and Ram romances his own female version. While it is hard to digest, it is fun and laughter-evoking. The drag seems dragged after a bit, but it is hilarious nevertheless.

Satish Shah, Darshan Jariwala and Chunky Pandey are the other characters in the movie. Even Prince Charles makes his Bollywood debut and gets to speak a few words of Marathi and Hindi, which I think was really funny.

In the drag and gay versions, Riteish is the boss as he has already played them before in his career. Saif is great as the rich billionaire, but falls short in all other characters. Saif can do witty comedy perfectly, but he is not the one for gay or drag kind of comedy. Ram Kapoor is wonderful as the evil mamaji, maniac OCD patient who gets mad when someone sneezes around him and gets calm only when someone offers him a lollipop, but is really scary in the drag version. [I know I'm being mean here :P]

The movie is mad, senseless, mindless, illogical and stupid. Yes, it is. Some portions are exaggerated, irritating and annoying, as well. But the movie is nothing close to painful or torturous or a work of sadism or an insult to audience, as most critics made it out to be. It is funny and hilarious and entertaining.

There were many scenes that were cringe-worthy as well, dialogues made of SMS forwards, some bad emulation of yesteryear greats from Bollywood, but all the negatives put aside, over-all the movie was enjoyable.

If you keep your prejudices against Sajid Khan and his arrogance aside, don’t go by the scathing reviews by the critics, and watch the movie, I think you’d enjoy it as well.

P.S : I didn’t find anything ‘disturbing’ about the movie. I am not really sure why Bipasha felt sore about the movie after doing it that she didn’t want to promote it.

Ah, that role tweet explains everything.

Posted on by Jigar Doshi | Leave a comment

A Newlywed’s Adventures In Married Land : Novella Review

Shweta Ganesh Kumar is the bestselling author of two novels on the Indian Broadcast news industry, titled ‘Coming Up On The Show’ and ‘Between The Headlines’. In the past, she has been a news trainee, desk editor, TV news correspondent with CNN-IBN and a communications officer at Greenpeace India. And now this talented multi-tasker’s penned A Newlywed’s Adventures In Married Land.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Mythili, a crime reporter was in a long distance relationship with Siddharth, a call center employee in Manila, Philippines, for over 5 years before they take their relationship to the next level and decide to get married. She leaves everything for him and shifts to Manila with him and the first few months of being unemployed/jobless/dependent were very frustrating and infuriating for the workaholic that she was.

Siddharth takes her to the Desi Gang, the group of Indians living there and who would meet regularly in the pretext of tea parties and dinners. Mythili finds them shallow, mean and selfish. They were the ones living off their husbands’ and always complained and bi*ched about MsIL, expensive groceries and vegetables.

The rest of the story is about how initially she rants and rants and how it gets difficult for both Siddharth and her and how eventually things fall in place when she lands a job and things change. 

The author has based this novella on Alice In Wonderland and every chapter starts with an anecdote from the novel which resonates with the story that is building in the novella. The story in the novella follows Mythili (author’s Alice) in her adventures in the married land (wonderland).

The writing is simple and the adventure is worth taking. But the initial few chapters were a pain for me, as a guy to go through, as they dealt with all the frustrations of a newly married unemployed workaholic woman. Although it was enlightening to see things from a woman’s perspective, I often agreed with Siddharth’s POV when he felt, “So what if she doesn’t have a job? Why can’t she just enjoy her time by reading books, watching movies/sitcoms and shopping?”

Another good thing about the novella is that, although it was Mythili’s story, often, Siddharth’s POV was also discussed and how the husband interprets a wife’s rants was aptly shown. That how when she’s ranting, she’s just relieving herself of the stress but he considers it that she’s unhappy with him and he has to do something to make her happy.

More than the story, most of the novella is happening in the protagonist’s head. This could be a hindrance for some as many like more conversation and less narrative. But the narrative is enlightening mixed with a slight humor.

Not entertaining exactly, but makes for a nice read.

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Connect with the author here : Shweta Ganesh Kumar

Posted in A Newlywed's Adventure In Married Land, books, fiction, Indireads, novella, reviews, Shweta Ganesh Kumar | Leave a comment

Love’s Labor : Novella Review

Love’s Labor by Andy Paula is the third novella that I’ve read. Published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Piali, a fierce, independent and confident teacher from small-town Jamshedpur, falls in love with Sathya Nair, son of the chairman of the school, on a workshop at the hill-station Panchagani. But, both face the hurdle of convincing their parents to agree for the marriage.

Lots of efforts later parents of Sathya give in and agree for the marriage, but Piali’s father, a traditional middle-class Bengali is against inter-caste marriages and staunchly objects. When he doesn’t budge in spite of repeated attempts, Piali quietly moves to Mussorie stating that she won’t go against her father but she wouldn’t marry anybody else either.

Rest of the story is about how Sathya reacts to her disappearance and whether her parents agree for the marriage or not.

The best part of the novella is its simple writing. We can identify with the characters instantly, the strong bond of relationships between Piali and her father and between Piali and Sathya and their various struggles in the journey of their love-life are portrayed in a nice way.

Piali is the protagonist of the novella, who is confident, fiery, intelligent, leader and strong-headed. Her transformation into a meek and a weak lady in love who is torn between the love of her father and the love of her life is also nicely portrayed.

The author has nicely shown the differences in 2 generations where a daughter is in a strong position while her mother only lingers in the background meekly following everything her husband says. She also shows how most middle-class families are against inter-caste marriages even in the 21st century and how ‘name’ and ‘image’ in the society is more important than the love of their wards. Another good aspect of Love’s Labor is that although she is head-over-heels in love with Sathya and she cannot live without him, she doesn’t elope and hurt her parents when they don’t initially agree. She goes into a self-exile and thus the name, Love’s Labor.

The novella is short, simple, entertaining and lovely. A must-read.

Connect with the author here : Andy Paula

Posted in Andy Paula, fiction, Indireads, Love's Labor, novella, reviews | Leave a comment

Awaken The Leader In You : Book Review

When I was first approached to review the book, “Awaken The Leader In You” penned by Mitesh and Indu Khatri, I was a bit wary as it was a self-help book based on leadership. Now, the Indian market is really flooded with these and technically, most books on leadership are, more or less, the same. They give you examples of a few successful leaders, show how the successful people are determined, work hard, have a vision and are fearless. I’m glad I didn’t give in to that initial thought and accepted to read the book instead.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

I haven’t read many books on leadership but this was very different from the ones I’ve read so far. The first thing about the book that takes you in is it’s simple language and easy-to-relate anecdotes. Basically, the authors don’t tell us anything new, which isn’t already told before, but what they do is that they tell us in a different and easy-to-implement way.

The book has 11 different chapters, each dealing with a different topic and trying to inspire us to change the way we live and awaken the leader within us. The authors state that each one of us are born leaders and that we all have immense potential to achieve all that we desire and aim for. The only difference is that some of us are committed till the end while the rest of us give it up mid-way when we encounter hurdles and that we aren’t determined to follow it till the end.

In Awaken The Leader In You, the authors first tell us the difference between the employee-mindset and entrepreneur-mindset in both employed professionals and self-employed individuals; and how this ‘thinking’ and ‘mindset’ is the one major difference that make the leaders stand apart in a crowd and achieve great successes.

They then talk about how leaders are always self-motivated; have high amounts of energy all the time; enjoy pressures and how they don’t succumb to pressures but live up to all the expectations from them. In fact, often, leaders perform way better when under pressure than otherwise. About how leaders derive this power and unceasing energy, about how they lead from the front and don’t fear to take 100% responsibility to the situations and then try and change them according to their will and desires. Also, emotional intelligence is required to deal with crisis situations and that one should have a control over one’s emotions and feelings and should not let them take over us.

While most leadership books talk about having strong values in the very beginning chapters, this book doesn’t talk about them until mid-way. It is so because, the authors explain, that people first need to be taught about inner potential, the need for vision and belief and how to go about building a vision and having belief in ourselves. So, after explaining about energy, power, belief, pressure, mind-set and importance of emotional intelligence, then they go about talking about values.

Finally, they talk about time management, how leaders get more work done in less time, importance of communication, the real definition of it, the need and how to go about having proper meaningful communication, building trust among the team members and how we can’t do everything alone and that we need to build a  great team and continually motivate them to keep working efficiently.
They also talk about how we, humans, associate with pain, feelings and trust and how they have made people walk on fire in their workshops and how initial fear and resistance changed to acceptance and excitement in just one hour of pep talk.

There are so many anecdotes, examples, quotes that can be highlighted and referred to again and again to derive inspiration or an idea about how to go about solving it while facing a difficult hurdle. Most of them are easy to relate to and easy to implement as well. Also, the authors don’t ask you to move mountains to become a leader, they give you simple tips and suggestions and show you a  the simple path to awaken the leader within you.

The best part of the book is that it doesn’t seem like a monologue as is the case with most books on leadership. There are various examples of the lives of successful people and also examples from the seminars and sessions conducted by the authors for various MNCs and organizations. There are also tests or questions for you to answer and compare the results to know what you want, where you stand and what changes you need to make.

It is a book that everyone must read and unlike fiction, it isn’t to be rushed through, but savored every day little by little. Also, to gain maximum from the book, everybody should certainly put the book aside and answer all the questions whenever asked.

Kudos to Mitesh and Indu Khatri for summing up years of research, teachings, experiences and so much more in a small book.
Read it for sure to Awaken The Leader In You :)

Connect with the author : Mitesh Khatri

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